CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, has announced the third voluntary suspension of US cruise operations.
The new suspension will see US-based cruise lines out of operation until at least 31 October 2020.
CLIA had been working with the US’ CDC (Centres for Disease Control Prevention) no-sail order date of 30 September, but has now decided to voluntarily extend that date until 31 October.
A statement on behalf of CLIA members read: “Despite the valuable alignment between CLIA’s previous voluntary suspension to 15 September and the CDC’s current No-Sail Order date of 30 September, we believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of US ocean-going cruise operations to 31 October.
“This is a difficult decision as we recognise the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry.
“However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior.
“CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020.
“At the same time, should conditions in the US change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart.”
The latest suspension comes as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the global suspension of the cruise industry.
According to CLIA’s most recent Economic Impact Study, the cruise industry supports 421,000 US jobs and generates $53 billion annually.
Each day out of operations results in a lost of $110 million in economic activity.
Over in Europe, CLIA last month welcomed the publication of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) guidance on the resumption of cruise ship operations in the EU.
The EMSA guidance provides recommendations relating to the development of ship and port management, along with interaction between cruise operations, ports and terminals.